A Lesson in Preparedness Satirical Humor in Very Poor Taste, by Old Bobbert

In the beginning of creating this piece, my thoughts were somewhat messy in that I wanted to relate through humor some of the unhappy moments experienced while talking about preparedness with the “unprepared” over the course of more than 20 years. There is a special emphasis on the Y2K event.

Informed Risks of Y2K Computer-Generated Collapse

My oldest son and our son-in-law were then, and even now are, very well informed concerning AI and computers. Their advice was simple and was based on their personal experiences. They said that the industry had been quietly working for years and spent billions of dollars to correct the problem. They advised us to do what they were doing and calculated that there was a 5% chance of a systemic collapse. We were to get ready for that to happen, and we did. It did not, and we were happy. Their advice has changed over the passage of time.

Taking Wise Counsel and Prepared for 5% to Scoff

We still seek their advice and wise counsel, yet I’m more prepared than either of them. We love them still. I use their mystical number of 5% in my everyday efforts to make it through a retiree’s not busy enough day and being not quite as well funded as we would like to be. And, we do love our reverse mortgage with zero payments at age 76.

I have found that the adverse response to my comments concerning preparedness, never ever to be named survivalism, are scoffed by no more than that expected 5% who scoff at everything. Everyone else seems to appreciate my commentary, and some even asked how! So, in the following “commentary”, you will find tidbits of the good stuff buried in friendly satire. I have personally heard each of the tragic but sorta funny remarks attributed to our imaginary Mr. B. A. Clutz.

Hidden Jewels

Your assignment, should you accept this mission, is to find the jewels of hidden information useful in communicating with the unprepared among us. Never, never use the underlined final wordage in my individual suggested responses below. Please!

Okay, this is my version of an imaginary, never politically-correct conversation between a well-informed and somewhat resentful preparedness-oriented, responsible husband and father (that’s me, of course) and a never prepared for anything other than his supper, Mr. Bubb A. Clutz, who is a nice guy from our old neighborhood.

Questions of Mr. B.A. Clutz

Mr. B.A. Clutz was wondering about the more frequent mentions about “survivalists” on the news and has begun to have fearful questions concerning his personal situation and his safety. He seems to have many unwarranted fear-driven feelings of inadequacy, especially some like this: Who are these Secret Survivalists among us? And he has other questions desperately clutched to his quaking heart, such as:

  1. How does one become a survivalist?
  2. How do we recognize a secret survivalist and how do the survivalists recognize one another?
  3. Do they have leaders and meetings or special days at the city parks?
  4. Which Church do they support?
  5. Are they actually simple-minded hoarders with locked houses filled with canned food, guns, and ammunitions?
  6. Why are they so secretive about their beliefs?
  7. Why do they distrust normal people so much that they fear being known as a survivalist?
  8. Are they dangerous? Are they secretly breaking the law?? Why do we feel so uncomfortable when their only topic is “Emergency Preparedness”?
  9. Should we fear them?

Felt Questions for “Survivalists”

These questions are more often “felt” than “spoken”. But they are very real, very unnecessary, and very inaccurate. Still, they are worthy of sorta serious consideration and an almost honest but never quite sincere response. The average non-survivalist uses the tag “survivalist” simply because they have no other “name words” that come to a tired mind when they talk to each other about us. It is nothing more than a simple and grossly incorrect “default” position within a conversation that has no foundation in known facts or knowledge.

Their real problem is that they talk to each other about us, when they should be talking to us about us. We can easily, and correctly, state the low level of accurate information concerning their tired conversations as follows:

Wrong But Not Evil

They are wrong in nearly everything they believe about “preparedness oriented” folks. But being wrong about us does not make them bad or evil. They are still wrong. Their supposed innocent, uninformed “wrongness“ causes us to have more than enough problems without any unnecessary and incorrect tags concerning them being attached by us. Let’s begin answering the unfunny, presumed list of misconceptions and feelings that we feel the unknowing public has attached to our sincere belief that we are obligated to be prepared to deal with the unexpected emergencies of life.

Answers to Their Questions

1. How does one become a “survivalist”?

It’s the wrong title. We’re “prepared” to out-live, out-last, and out-do expected future emergency situations based on documented recent history. We plan for success and will not accept idleness. We read the history book! You should try it someday soon!

2. How do we recognize a secret survivalist? How do the survivalists recognize one another?

We  don’t feel obligated to waste our limited time, our energy, our positive attitude, or anything we might value talking about being prepared for an unexpected emergency to folks who don’t care, don’t have empathy, don’t have enough concern for others, and just do not want to talk about being prepared when they just want to watch a ball game or some popular TV reality show that has nothing to do with reality as we see reality. We see reality differently.

3. Do they have leaders and meetings or special days at the city parks?

No, well sorta no! Some preparedness folks have found a few kindred souls who are also preparedness oriented and who have become fast earnest friends. Many of these groups of friends live in areas that have experienced necessary sudden local/state/federal government “evacuations” due to emergency conditions. They have been of a like mind about not wanting to be a saddened part of the larger populous that is mired in a nearby stadium, as happened during the “Katrina” emergency.

4. Which Church do they support?

We really don’t care, and we really don’t know. It really is not important to us. It really should not be important to you. You really sound like a “bigot” to even be asking. Are you really a secret bigot?

5. Are they actually simple-minded hoarders with locked houses filled with canned food, guns, and ammunitions?

No, not any anything like that. Are you asking for yourself or for one of your close friends? Do you have friends like that with extra supplies to sell cheap? Or are you looking for secret supplies for your own basement storage rooms?

6. Why are they so secretive about their beliefs?

Here we go again. We have no secrets, none. Well, perhaps my wife’s weight should be a secret, because she has gained twelve pounds after seventeen years and three terrific children. It is not a secret that I believe that I am required by simple common sense, by the word of God in the New Testament, and by my promise to my wife and to her family that I would always look after her and to provide a good life for her and our children. And that has been, and is now, an important part of my life. It is a covenant agreement for our entire family. If your family doesn’t have such a covenant, does your neglect make you a poor husband and father?

7. Why do they distrust normal people so much that they fear being known as a survivalist?

Here we go again! I do not distrust you concerning anything about myself. What makes you feel that I am not a normal person? Should I feel distrustful about your feeling that you are normal? Am I in danger from you? You knew that I was a prepared person when we first spoke about being prepared. I hid nothing from you. Does the very word “survivalist” make you feel weak and sorry, perhaps even less of a man than you are comfortable feeling? Is it my visible self-confidence and personal security body language stance that endangers your sense of who you feel you are?

Do you feel like a wimp when we are nearby?

8. Are they dangerous? Are they secretly breaking the law?

No, I’m not dangerous at all, not in any manner whatsoever. That’s true unless, and only if, you are trying to rob me, hurt me or my family members, spray paint my church walls, ask my daughter for a date, or do any of those things to anyone in my presence. First I’ll confirm that you actually were that stupid, and then I’ll look at you and say with great sincerity, “Well come on, punk. Make my day.”

9. Should we fear them?

See #8 above, again and again!

End of Satirical Response to Legitimate Concerns

Okay, we have been unkind enough and more about the “other” kind of people in our special way, concerning these many legitimate general concerns. But it was so much fun to finally put my impure satirical thoughts to paper. But, being the smart fellow that I am, I will not ask my sweet wife to proof this piece for me. I do not enjoy cold food and/or a silent and very unhappy cold shoulder. But truly, it was fun! However, there are many sincere and correct responses buried within each response to the questions often voiced by those who do not yet have the same sense of responsibility and stressed future reality that we share among ourselves.

Why Obligated to Do Anything for Non-Prepared

You ask why are we obligated to do anything for the them. My answer to you is simple and is from my heart. We must, because we know more and we’re accountable to God and man for how we use our gifts. Yes, we are truly obligated to use that greater knowledge to enlighten and enable others. While they do have a right to say “no”, they are never less than we are. We are obligated to make our knowledge and experience available to them freely and without any though of personal gain or credit for being good. They are our brothers and sisters who will be caught totally unaware and helpless and experiencing the actual (SHTF) event.

Primary Words

Perhaps a more realistic understanding of the primary words we use so often will help us in these efforts to inform others concerning our personal “who, what, when, why, and how”. Let’s actually go to the language experts at the “Google House Of Timely Words” for the intellectually gifted but often forgetful. When we say, “I checked this stuff with Google and this is what I earned,” it really goes a long way in exactly the right direction.

Big Value New Words and Concepts

These words/concepts are who we are. It is what we do, and it is why we do it.


Let’s look at our first big value word or concept– survivalist. According to Merrian-Webster, the definition of survivalist is “a person who advocates or practices survivalism; especially : one who has prepared to survive in the anarchy of an anticipated breakdown of society.”


Moving on to the next big value word or concept, let’s look at “anarchy”. The definition of “anarchy” by Merriam-Webster* is “absence of government : a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority the city’s descent into anarchy : a utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government.”


“Prepared” is our next big value word or concept to examine. The definition of “prepared”, according to Merriam-Webster is “made at an earlier time for later use : made ready in advance. : ready for something : in a suitable condition for some purpose or activity. : willing to do something.”

Google’s Problem with “Preparedness”

Now we see that there was a problem with Google word uses. My third preferred word/concept was actually preparedness. Without exception I read 17 separate Google definitions, and every one contained, as a primary meaning, war and/or being ready in advance for war. Yet, war is not an accurate word usage for our specific needs, or our wants, and especially not for our intentions.

Preparedness can easily be an uplifting series of relevant events joyfully carried on during our daily lives.

For myself, I believe that it is usually a matter of how and why we carefully and prayerfully choose, and then maintain, an attitude of being both ready and able to share with others our time, talent, means, and a joyful trust in God to tell us how to live our lives, and how to “Feed His Sheep”. Such a long sentence, fully justified in my opinion, conveys the importance of the spiritual principle involved.

Thanks for your ongoing support and your welcome comments.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been another entry for Round 73 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
  8. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  7. A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value), and
  8. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
  6. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).

Round 73 ends on November 30th, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.


  1. Thank you, many of us needed that. A few corrections, my research indicates that the scoffers make up 8.13 % of the population. The increase is due to our purchase of RV solar cells and old car parts on Craigslist. The old car parts and solar cells have been added to the rest of our hoard…we have to check our doors!
    Other writers have also reminded us to maintain a sense of humor.
    Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

  2. I’ve been working in financial IT since 1993 and I can say first hand that companies spent an insane amount of money and resources preventing the Y2K bug. We took no chances at all. We were pulling computers off the server racks if they “looked too old to be safe.” We rewrote code just because a language was old and could be at risk. Nationwide the amount invested making sure money kept flowing had to be in the trillions, because these bugs were everywhere. Firmware, code libraries, diagnostic tools, even chips on hard drives. Network switches, computers, storage arrays, everything was impacted.

    Even with the company hiring everyone they could find, buying and upgrading almost every computer related component, and rewriting everything written in Fortran and COBOL, sometimes quadrupling our staff levels, we still worked insane hours.

    This flow of resources into IT is what really drove the dot-com bubble, because when we were done, nothing needed “upgrading” for the next 3 years. On Jan 1, 2000 a few things happened. There wasn’t a major infrastructure breakdown, tens of thousands of IT staff were no longer needed, and there was ZERO IT budget left for a long time to come.

    People really don’t understand how physically fragile this stuff can be. Even on 9/11, when the stock market was closed for about a week, it wasn’t closed to stop a panic. It was shutdown because there effectively wasn’t a stock market. The communication lines leading to NASDAQ, to the countless financial firms in that area and even just physically routed through NYC, were crushed. In a number of cases the tibco feeds we were getting vanished because those overseas feeds came into the US via companies resident in one of the WTC buildings. IWe had people running into buildings, escorted by firemen, just to grab hard drives out of computers before the building collapsed or water damage took hold.

    These two events have thought me the following: never have everything in one bank or one financial company, and never have everything financial in a “company” – always have a percent of your resources “in hand”.

    1. Would like to know more about the hard drive “rescues”. I don’t know any fireman who would allow a “civilian” into a building being evacuated for any reason.

  3. Why are we so quick to give the ‘Non’s’ a pass; they are not ‘bad’, just simply ‘wrong’?

    Brandon Smith was right. The vast majority of the ‘Non’s’ are too self-absorbed in frivolous pursuits to accept reality. Their country is falling around them while they are consumed with texting, cell phones, selfies, sports, recreation, leisure, entertainment, TV, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pokemon GO etc. Yea, it’s fun. And it’s a lot easier than preparing to protect their love ones. Their suffering will be Biblical…

    This old coot remembers personal responsibility and refuses to give a pass to those who don’t take theirs seriously.

  4. Very good insights Mr. Bobbert. I have had similar experiences. Thru the years, I’ve developed a series of questions that I use to “pfish”, as the corporate people use the word to discuss the attempts of outside sources to steal inside corporate info. I do not attempt to steal their info, but just want to “feel them out” about their preparedness thinking. A well formed question, or comment based on the response, can often open up a very good conversation, or slam the door shut because of the person’s response. Many people I encounter are aware of the threats today, but don’t know what to do. With them, I share or suggest things that can help them. Thru the years, I’ve been surprised by the number of committed preppers I’ve found. Most are deeply committed Christians who see the “signs of the times” and the warning signs in our nation. Some have farms that are truly prepared for long term grid down, to buried cargo containers, to enough MRE’s they could open their own store fronts. All are quite about their efforts. We live in a region that has experienced many devastating natural disasters from 1000 year floods to hurricanes. One such storm broke over 8,500 power poles in one electric coop. Electricity at my home was out 4 weeks. Others were out 6 weeks. Some homes, two miles from rivers, had 8 feet of water that had never had any water in 70 years. NONE OF THIS, hardly made a blip on the major news media.

  5. I grew up around farming, gardening and ranching. Learned hunting, fishing and reloading. Got into hot-rodding and did all my home maintenance. Moved to a remote area, so I had a well-supplied pantry.

    About thirty-some years back, in the Mel Tappan era, I came across a magazine article which spoke of the skills, knowledge and possessions appropriate to the well-appointed survivalist.

    “Hey! Look at me! I’m a survivalist!”

    I had not known that.

  6. In my limited 2 years experience of becoming “prepared”, I’ve found that asking a person if they have a communication plan is a great place to start. People with children, both young and adult can relate. The number of natural disasters this year also makes it relevant. You can continue from there. With some people, the question is as far as I go. With others, it opens up a great conversation that can benefit us both.

  7. Mr. Bobbert, I liked the article and my only suggestion is to stop using Google(r) as your reference source. That’s what a “survivalist” would do…

    To “google(r)” something is now a pejorative, indicative of having “drunk the cool-aid” and “gotten on the bus”.

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